Surgical Treatment

Surgical options for a-fib can include a minimally invasive approach similar to traditional open surgery. A full maze for a-fib would be offered in combination with valve surgery or coronary artery bypass grafting. Patients not requiring traditional, open surgery can benefit from the real advances of the mini maze within the last decade.  Aspirus is unique and one of the few centers in the U.S. offering this approach.

An advantage of surgery versus catheter based ablation, though not as minimally invasive, is a higher success rate with single intervention and better chance being off anticoagulation and antiarrhythmic therapy.


Atriclip is a device used in the minimally invasive Left Atrial Appendage Exclusion (LAAE). It’s designed to reduce risk of stroke for patients unable to be on anticoagulation. The procedure is not designed to get patients into normal rhythm. Expected procedure time is 45 minutes with plan to go home the following day.

What to expect after surgery

While recovering from surgery for atrial fibrillation, it is not unusual to experience several weeks of a-fib. This occurs due to the inflammation of the heart and pericardial sack around the heart, but resolves within a few weeks. Patients are not generally hospitalized for this. We at Aspirus use the most up to date monitors to monitor heart rate. Patients will receive an Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) within a month of surgery to help get off of medications safely. The state of the art monitor stays in for 3-4 years

Atriclip for Atrial Fibrillation

Featuring John Johnkoski, MD

The Atriclip is a progressive new surgical device that helps eliminate the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.